Monday, June 1, 2009

TMI Monday

First, some context: Neither I nor MathMan come from families where open communication is practiced. We don't belong to families that talk about icky things like feelings, bodily functions, or sex. Well, I take that back. My mother, The Big R, has a very odd, self-conscious way of mentioning bodily functions, usually delivered half-whispered.

And I suppose regarding normal human waste elimination activities, there were certain truths in my childhood home. Soon after food passed through her esophagus, The Big R would disappear into the bathroom with a crossword puzzle*. We all simply accepted this and, as such, conceded that going out to dinner would be limited to places with clean restrooms or had to be within short driving distance of home.

As is often the case, these things are hereditary, so I have a child with this same affliction. We are used to watching her food get cold as we eat a meal. Three bites in and she's excused herself.

I, on the other hand, was the puker in the family. Carsick. Whatever went around school. Didn't matter. I got it and hurled. (Note: I promise this is not going to become the vomit/poo blog. Yet***.)

As an example of how this ties in to communication, how's this:
My mother doesn't say fart, she says "pass gas."
MathMan's mother (may she rest in peace) used the charming phrase "let out air."

Now I've gone and wandered off topic. Let me circle back. I don't really mean to write about farting any more than I intend to write about poop. Let me begin again.....Neither MathMan nor I grew up in families where things were discussed openly. And by things, I mean bodily functions, most especially those that might be tangentially related to S-E-X or sexuality.

I don't know if it's a result of the more open era that we grew up in or just some quirk of personality, but MathMan and I have underdeveloped filters when it comes to discussing "personal" issues in front of our children. Now this is to their dismay and it may turn them into completely repressed Victorians, but that's a chance we're willing to take. It would be impossible to put the Inappropriate Genie back in the bottle, I suspect.

Now that I've laid the many layers of groundwork, I'll just move on, shall I? You see, it's common knowledge at Golden Manor that Mama (that's me) is currently equipped with an IUD that contains some hormones. A happy side effect of this is that Mama (that's still me) doesn't have much of a period. (Are you still with me?) This is really nice and all because menstrual periods, though perfectly natural and necessary, can be incredibly inconvenient and, for some, a real, live sickening pain. I was always lucky that way. I've never really suffered cramps and would probably, if confronted with the industrial strength cramps that some women must endure, crumple into a heap of sweating, vomiting, and wailing agony. (Smelling salts, anyone?)

My most easily identifiable manifestations of pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) are a marked increase in my need to consume chocolate and, just maybe, a tendency to be a bit weepy if presented with something like those Sarah McLachlin ads for the puppies and kitties with the overlay of that Arms of the Angels song. Otherwise, I'm rather oblivious to my cycles. If MathMan notices anything, he never mentions it. (Glass of water for Mr. Grainger?)

Some months, though, I'll feel a little more out of sorts than usual or have a twingy backache or maybe feel bloaty and unusually puffy. To confirm that it's hormone-related, I tend to check in with the other person in the house who is of childbearing age.

Sunday evening, The Dancer, MathMan, Garbo and I were playing Scattegories as part of our weekly game night. (You thought I was kidding about that a couple of weeks ago, didn't you? Well, word to your mother. Next week I get to pick the game and I'm thinking Quarters or Bullshit.) I mentioned that I was feeling bloated and weird and asked The Dancer directly if we were having "our period." She confirmed that we are.

Thankfully, The Actor/Ninja, was glued to his XBox Live game or running the neighborhood (you don't really expect me to be exacting about where a 13 year old boy is all the time, do you?) and thus, missed this episode of What's Up with My Vagina?. Since he's 13 and totes his genitals externally, he's just a bit put off by conversations about periods these days.

He's so squidgy about that stuff lately that his younger sister knows that a mere mention of it will set him off. "You know you came out of Mom's vagina," she'll taunt.

"Mom does NOT have a vagina." He must assert this, lest he crumple into a heap of sweating, heaving, wailing agony.

"So that explains it....." I began. Still, there was something more off than usual. A sort of crampiness that I'm not accustomed to. Then it occurred to me what it may be. My IUD is due to be replaced this month. So it has been five years already. Boy, time sure flies when you're having sex without the added thrills of birth control you have to remember or fuss with.

"I need to schedule an appointment to get checked under the hood and a replacement IUD," I announced. Maybe by saying this out loud to most of my immediate family, someone will remember to remind me to call for an appointment. None of them want any more siblings. Hell, we have to worry about them offing each other. Adding to the tally would be considered a disaster in this household.

MathMan**, ever helpful, was ready to help. "I can check under your hood," he offered.

The Dancer just groaned. I clicked my tongue and rolled my eyes. Garbo was thinking practically. "What about her IUD?" she asked. She was sure she'd found a flaw in his thinking.

"I have forceps in my toolbox. I'll even boil them first."

Another groan from The Dancer. More eye rolls and a heave sigh from me. Garbo still wasn't satisfied. "Yes, but you won't be able to replace the IUD," she chided him.

"I have paper clips," he smiled triumphantly.

I'd like to say here that I was stunned, but this is just so common around here that I don't know why it was even notable, except that maybe MathMan has hit upon an idea to lower health care costs.

Can't you just see it?

* This should not, in any way, be construed as confirmation that females actually poo.
** Thank you for picking up some Emergency M&Ms tonight, MathMan! I can't believe I allowed myself to run out this time of the month.
***I do have to write a post about a book I saw Sunday. That will push me further into the realm of poo-blogging. Fabulous!

Now turn your head and cough, please.


  1. I suspect he couldn't do any worse than my GYN who, despite my questioning her about bleeding for a year, didn't notice my IUD had become incased in a fibroid which required surgery to remove.

    And I say passed gas, too, so do my kids.

  2. I am sorry I can not be liable for fibroids. I am just not that experienced. Perhaps with practice.

    I digress and now I can't remember what I was going to say. Nuts.

  3. Amazing Daughter just watched the movie (you know, the one they show in 4th grade that includes anatomically correct names?) and now she loves to toss the V word into every conversation. To her older's brother's great dismay, I might add.

  4. I mentioned dog shit to a friends husband the other day and he had a hissy fit. He was so emphatically angry, hostile, & vile tempered I'm surprised I didn't fling dog shit at him. I was puzzled and adrenaline poisoned as he was terribly hostile. Later when I called my friend he grabbed the phone out of her hand and screamed "Fuck You!" at me. I hung up on him unless he beat me to it. See? We are all strange and childlike about some bodily functions. Except me and you and Mathman. And that gets me thinking about other bodily functions.

  5. I am laughing my ass off!

    Woe be unto anyone with female childrens who does not "Get" this little conversation, you are doomed!

    I take it ya don't have any varmints immediately available to blame fer the stink when ya slip out a Silent But Deadly?

    Hell, my dad got to the point he would just rise up on one cheek and we all knew the dog was outside.
    Then I got to go fetch him a beer and change the channel while I was up.

    Y'all haven't lived until yer precious little darling starts to get boobs and then there is this hysterical phone call from school one day, because Mommy is out of cell phone range.

    Thanks for the memories Lisa...

  6. I think my son knows more about how ovaries work than my teenage, menstruating daughter.

    I find that a bit disconcerting, but it just goes to show which one of them actually pays attention to those sorts of things.

  7. We just call it 'taking a crap' around here. We lack manners in EOTGW. [My kid just came in, announced that she had to 'go poop' and left the room...]

    My college buddy used to call it 'billowing dump time' when he had to go. It still makes me snicker.

    The reference to AYBS made me giggle with glee.

    Happy Tuesday!

  8. I have to say that i am adverse to using the word fart and never say dog/ cat shit when referring to their deposits.

    i guess i have double standards cos i can say f*ck quite a bit as a swear word and shit too.

    My daughter referred to farting as pardons when small consequently she thought the Queen would do royal pardons

    DH refers to them as parps

  9. you consistently entertain me with your stories and keep me coming back for more

  10. ...billowing dump time...... funny!!

    Lisa.... you crack me UP!!

    I, when in more genteel moods, like to call a fart "poot." I'm not sure if I heard it anywhere else, or if I actually made it up.....ya, know...not a loud letting go of big bursts of methane...but rather small, delicate release of air.... poot!

  11. Next time I'm at the Jersey Shore, I'll stop in a cheesy tshirt store and pick up an "FBI--Female Body Inspector" tshirt for Mathman.

  12. This post is freaking hilarious!

    Vagina, vagina, vagina! (Sorry.)

  13. I don't have cable or even network TV, so I miss ALL the episodes of What's Up with My Vagina? As a result, I feel deprived.

    Suggestion for when Mathman needs his peenie checked: just put a rubber band on it. (boil it first.)

  14. You are so funny.
    ah my dear, now that menopause has come to stay......ah the hormones are up and down but no more bleeding......that part is good!
    Just make the Dr appt, while mathman appears eager to help....I'd stick with the guy who's done more inside work, so to speak.
    Nick just learned all the real "sex" stuff this year and he loves to ask the girls so nonchalantly if they packed tampons....LOL. Vagina doesn't phase him either.

  15. Hmmm. Rubberbands eh? Yes boil them first.

  16. if presented with something like those Sarah McLachlin ads for the puppies and kitties with the overlay of that Arms of the Angels song. ~ Chica, those friggin commercials make me cry every damn time!

    I do love how you guys talk about anything in front of the chil'ren. I do that too, much to the chagrin of my 20-something son. ;)

  17. So, can you tell me why my Mother In law just INSISTS on telling me when she gets her period, the type of flow, and how she can't use tampons?
    Like, really, I don't even think about me period, let alone talk about it.

  18. embarrassment is really the only instrumentof control one has against one's children once they've passed the age when they can be sent to their room.

  19. Let's see..."break wind", "cut the cheese", oh so many ways to describe the act of FARTING!! We have no barriers here - we calls them as we sees them! I know we would get along great!

  20. I am amazed that you and Mathman have come so far . . .
    but maybe you should keep Mathman at the talking stage when it comes to IUD removal and/or repair.

  21. We've been talking about sex-change operations at our house a lot lately. I suppose that's why I had to speculatively answer The Genius's question about whether a male could actually be changed to a female on a genetic level (he's a contrarian like his mother and has found the level at which this is impossible- at least, for now, I think....). This question was asked to resolve the debate he and Snaggletooth were having on the cafe porch where I was meeting up with a visiting friend I hadn't seen for a few years.

    My conclusion: While some may be more Victorian, I think it's safe to say, at least one will carry on your traditions of bluntness. I'll place my money on Garbo- who we just have to pre-arrange to be married to The Genius.

  22. Your IUD is obviously a much-improved model over the one I had -- no hormones involved, just metal and plastic, and I'm still recovering from the cramps that demonic device caused each month. (If IIRC, Carter was in office when I had it removed.)

    It must be the day for TMI in general -- at our staff meeting this morning a discussion about deskside recycling led to my team lead regaling us with descriptions of some of the more unfortunate side effects of her recent weight loss surgery and inappropriate uses of an office wastepaper basket.

  23. thanks I needed a good laugh ;)

  24. Fart is not only acceptable as a word, it's a frequent topic of family discussions around our house.

    You have a vagina? When did that happen?

    On that same topic - vaginas in general, not yours (don't get all narcissistic on me) - we had someone at work call it a "vajayjay", a term I had never heard before (it's apparently Oprah's term for women's naughty bits). What is wrong with people? Do we use code for talking about livers, say, or legs? Will people explode if the word passes their lips? Since when did we become a nation of fourth-grade boys?

    Penis, vagina, clitoris, testicles, labia - no different from lung, stomach, heart, toe, nose. Recite that list to your kids and watch the fun!

    My soon-to-be-12 yo daughter was horrified when she found out I knew about periods. That I have three older sisters, a mother, and a wife didn't occur to her. Now, tho, she's comfy with the knowledge, although she doesn't talk about it with me, apparently afraid she will horrify me with her bodily functions. That's OK.

  25. Around here, the word fart has been replaced with the phrases busting ass and baking brownies. The person doing the farting is an ass blaster, of course.

  26. Are you saying you can manage to watch the abused animal commercials at any time of the month? YOU ARE STRONG and I am weak!!!!

    Tell Mathman he has no idea hw bad PMS can be. I can cry at Payday loan commercials, I kid you not. I am one of those that require VIcodin for that time of the month( forgive my euphemism), i.e. Sharkweek for you less self-conscious.

    You all take DIY to a new level. Office Depot as medical supply store. Impressive.
    p.s. I love a good Mr. Grainger reference.

  27. speaking as an only son i am pretty sure my mom did not have a vagina either (not sure where the sisters came from)

  28. The term for farting when I was growing up was "shot a bunny." I don't know if it was a south jersey thing, but no one else seems to have heard that phrase. The only problem with it is that when my nephew and nieces were really small, the phrase alone made them want to shoot a few bunnies (so they could announce their achievement loudly, post act).

  29. Barking spiders ,anyone?

    Buck snort?

  30. I know what you mean about moms not wanting to talk "upfront" about these types of things: my mom still says "BM" for poop! I tease her and say "what- he (talking about our son)had a Bartholomew Martinez?!"

    Utah-what the living hell is wrong with "dog shit" dude?! Sounds like he's got complex about it!

  31. Oh my gosh, this was soooo funny! :)


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